The nightclubs are back and late bars are free to keep their doors open into the wee hours. Plenty of us are all looking forward to enjoying more normal weekends of socialising and of course, drinking.
But one thing nobody looks forward to is the after-effects of a few too many. A pounding headache, excessive thirst, trembling due to low blood sugar and nausea to boot, the morning after a night on the town can be horrific.
There are few things worse than being debilitated for an entire day as a result of a night out enjoying yourself.
But is there anything you can do during the drinking stage you can do to stop this? It turns out there is, and it’s actually quite straightforward.
What is a hangover?
The sweats, shakes and pounding headache that come with a hangover are all caused by dehydration.
All that lovely alcohol has dehydrated your body to the point of illness the next morning.
Hangovers do range in severity depending on the type of alcohol though, thanks to congeners, which are byproducts of fermentation.
These congeners contribute to the colour and taste of the drink, but they also have a huge impact on the body’s ability to break it down.
This struggle leads to classic hangover symptoms like headaches the next morning.
What to avoid and what to drink instead
If congeners cause the worst hangovers then drinks with high levels of congeners are to be avoided.
Avoid dark coloured and heavily flavoured drinks. Congeners give liquor its colour and flavour. Try to stay away from too much red wine, whiskey and other dark drinks. Unfortunately the more expensive alcohol is, the more it has been filtered and the less congeners it has to hurt your head the next morning.
Use the rule of thumb that sticking to lighter, highly filtered alcohol is best.
Some of your favourite drinks can be easily substituted for a lighter option to avoid a horrific hangover. Instead of red wine, opt for white. Avoid dark rum and choose white rum, and so on.
You should also try to avoid carbonated, fizzy alcohol like sparkling wine, cider, or using a fizzy drink as a mixer. The bubbles are likely to speed up the rate of alcohol absorption.
Andrew Waterhouse, an enology professor and wine chemist at the University of California told Thrillist: “The carbon dioxide in Champagne helps the alcohol get absorbed into the bloodstream faster.”
Stick to one drink for the night. Although it may seem boring to avoid the various array of cocktails or shots on offer, your stomach will thank you. A combination of drinks churning around your stomach will only lead to an unpleasant morning-after.
Even more boring is the advice to alternate your alcohol drinks with pints of water. But it is the best idea to avoid a hangover – it keeps you hydrated and can prevent a sore head tomorrow.